A shortage of parking is also a problem at the current site for the practice’s 28,000 patients. The accident and medical service run by the practice also needs more space, as it is now seeing upward of 80 patients a day.
Mr Lesperance says the practice has “growth aspirations” but until this point growth has happened naturally, with the practice’s business model attracting GPs and patients.
The centre operates a model which tries to accommodate ideas GPs may bring in terms of how they want to work.
GPs can be salaried employees of Hastings Health Centre, practice owners taking advantage of the management services provided by the large practice, or shareholders in the company as a whole.
The organisation is finding that younger GPs have a preference for the salaried model, he says.
There are several practices which currently operate under the Hastings Health Centre umbrella.
Although flexible with GPs, part of the deal is that they all take part in a weekend roster, making the load lighter for everyone.
The new building, on the corner of St Aubyn and King Streets, will be spread over two-and-a-half floors, with over 50 consulting rooms and spaces.
The ground floors will have radiology, accident and medical, pharmacy, physio and, hopefully, ultrasound services, Mr Lesperance says. The first floor will be made up of the GP practices and support.
In addition to the pharmacy on the ground floor, a pharmacist from the DHB will work with GPs at the practice.
Hastings Health Centre late last year also took on the practices of two Havelock North GPs: Colin Wakefield, who retired in 2017, and Maurice Jolly.
The two practices were purchased by the Hastings centre, merged and were rebranded as The Havelock North Health Centre, based out of Dr Wakefield’s former practice on Middle Road.
Further changes in Hastings have included the health centre taking on its first nurse practitioner, Catrina Riley, who is specialising in children and youth services.
Nurse practitioners are part of the practice’s change in service delivery model, Mr Lesperance says, and Ms Riley has been involved in providing the free care for patients aged under-18 which was introduced in July by Hawke’s Bay DHB.